The Florida python battle continues as bigger and bigger pythons are being caught. In addition, a record setting clutch of eggs has been found and disposed of.
One of the biggest problems Florida faces in controlling Burmese pythons is their incredible fertility. Females lay dozens of eggs at a time. But a new Florida Burmese record is stunning. 111 eggs were found in a single clutch.
According to the Miami Herald the egg clutch was found in July. A typical python nest contains at least 50 eggs and up to 100 has been considered in the normal range. The female in question was 13 feet long.
Also recently a 19 foot python was captured, one of the biggest in the world. NPR says Florida officials believe it is the world record holder.
The Florida python battle is made more urgent by the risk that the snakes are expanding their range.
Up to now the scientific community felt Florida’s Burmese pythons would be confined to regions in Florida closer in climate to their home habitat in Asia.
But some are not so sure. The thinking has been that the snakes did not do well in cold weather. Recent experience shows that cold snaps do kill the snakes – but not all of them. That suggests survivors could be developing cold tolerance. A bigger question is can they survive the terrain changes needed to get them from Florida’s tropical climate and foliage across the plains and deserts to Oregon and Canada as some fear they will?
The idea of a spread to Oregon is based on computer models and a assumption of major warming. It is not currently widely held.